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YouTube introduces large coronavirus health alerts to users, even to those who haven’t searched for the topic

YouTube is the latest of many big tech platforms to push coronavirus content from health organizations.
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YouTube has started showing notifications that direct users to coronavirus information from health organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Health Service (NHS), depending on location.

Several YouTube web users in the US are seeing a notification that encourages them to “Get the latest information from the World Health Organization about COVID-19.”

Clicking “LEARN MORE” directs users to this WHO page about the coronavirus.

YouTube is showing a WHO coronavirus desktop notifications to US users
YouTube is showing a WHO coronavirus notification to US users
These YouTube desktop notifications direct US users to a WHO page about the coronavirus
These YouTube notifications direct US users to a WHO page about the coronavirus

In the UK, a similar notification is being shown to desktop YouTube users that encourages them to “Get the latest information from the NHS about COVID-19.”

The “LEARN MORE” text directs them to this UK government coronavirus response page.

YouTube is showing an NHS coronavirus desktop notifications to UK users
YouTube is showing an NHS coronavirus notification to UK users
These YouTube desktop notifications direct UK users to a government coronavirus response page
These YouTube notifications direct UK users to a government coronavirus response page

These notifications are the latest of several prompts that have been appearing on big tech platforms to direct users to coronavirus pages from health organizations.

Google Search is showing an “SOS Alert” which places links to the WHO and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) below the news carousel.

The Google Search SOS Alert links to “help and information” from the CDC and WHO
The Google Search SOS Alert links to “help and information” from the CDC and WHO
The Google Search SOS Alert shows a coronavirus “affected area” map from the WHO
The Google Search SOS Alert shows a coronavirus “affected area” map from the WHO

On Facebook, users that search for coronavirus information are prompted to visit the WHO or NHS.

Facebook places prompts that link to the WHO at the top of its coronavirus search results
Facebook places prompts that link to the WHO at the top of its coronavirus search results
Facebook places prompts that link to the NHS at the top of its UK coronavirus search results
Facebook places prompts that link to the NHS at the top of its UK coronavirus search results

And on Twitter, search prompts that link to “authoritative health sources” such as the CDC are placed at the top of search results.

These YouTube desktop notifications have started to roll out less than a month after YouTube started automatically demonetizing videos that mention coronavirus.

This decision has forced many YouTuber creators to tiptoe around and refrain from mentioning the coronavirus, even though it’s one of the most important global events happening right now.

It’s also resulted in Clark TV, a popular South Korean channel, being fully demonetized for its on the ground reporting on the coronavirus.

In a recent update, YouTube said it was reconsidering its coronavirus demontization policy but as of yet, there have been no changes.

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